Friday, June 30, 2006

Access is Denied: Microsoft.Web.UI.Webcontrols

Error: Access is Denied: Microsoft.Web.UI.Webcontrols

"=== Pre-bind state information ===
LOG: DisplayName = Microsoft.Web.UI.Webcontrols, Version= 1.0.2.226, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35
(Fully-specified)

LOG: Appbase =
file:///D:/WebPortal
LOG: Initial PrivatePath = bin
Calling assembly : NST, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null.

===
LOG: Attempting download of new URL
file:///c:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v1.1.4322/Temporary ASP.NET Files/abc/15b74bf1/7d24a7c4/Microsoft.Web.UI.WebControls.DLL.

Solution 1: I read from a Microsoft KB article that this could happen because of some issue with Index server! So if at all Index server is running unnecessarily either try stopping it or disable it.

Solution 2: In the web.config file if the tag identity impersonate="true" is added, remove it and see. [Don't ask me why :)]

The second solution was found my friend Sriram and the problem got resolved. Hope this would help someone some day :)

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ZYPAD - The Wrist-worn PC ....

The Zypad wrist-worn computer was officially unveiled today by Eurotech, a company dedicated to the research, development, production and marketing of miniature computers (NanoPCs) and high processing capacity (HPC) computers.

Promising to revolutionise the way in which millions of people work, the Zypad’s high-tech design is the culmination of circuit miniaturisation, a wide range of computer hardware functions, optimised power consumption and ergonomic considerations. Weighing only 290 grams, the device could conceivably serve as an everyday tool as common as the mobile phone or the palmtop.

Source: www.eurotech.it

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

See my house in the city map

Step 1: Goto WikiMapia.org (it's really a cool site)
Step 2: On the top right you could see "WikiMapia". Move your mouse on top of it.
Step 3: Choose "Search Places"
Step 4: Type "Vadivel". You could find my house in the city map.
Step 5: Just click on the box whose tootip reads "Vadivel's house". You would now see "Show info" link within that box. Click on it to see the description too :)

This wikimapia is powered by Google Maps!

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Microsoft BLINQ

Does Microsoft hate developers :) Check out BLINQ and you would get that feeling yourself [pun intended].

  • Blinq is a tool for generating ASP.NET websites for displaying, creating, and manipulating data based on database schema.
  • All one needs to do is to point Blinq to a SQL database and it will create a website for you!
  • The website would contains pages that display sorted and paged data, allow you to update or delete records, create new records, and follow relationships between tables in your database.
  • You don't need to write SQL queries to use Blinq; LINQ will generate optimized queries for you that request just the data you want to show.
Reqirement:
  • Blinq 1.0 requires VS 2005 Standard Edition or higher, or Visual Web Developer 2005 Express,
  • SQL Server 2000 SP4, 2005 SP1, or Express SP1.
  • You must install the LINQ May 2006 Community Technical Preview before running the BlinqSetup.msi. The installer creates a \Program Files\Microsoft ASP.NET\Blinq folder, which contains DLLs for the project's \bin folder, and adds BrowserFiles and ThemeFiles subfolders.
  • IIS 5.0+ on the test machine is optional.
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Scoble's house for sale ...

Take a virtual tour of Scoble's house which has come for sale now. I love this concept of selling of a house. Pretty neat and after taking this tour i got a feeling that I know every part of his house :)

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Web based Microsoft Office !!

Microsoft today announced a “try it before you buy it” program allowing people to take an online test-drive of the 2007 Microsoft Office system release. Check this link if you wanna try it out.

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What should one look @ while buying a land in chennai?

Offlate people have started thinking about investing their money in lands. I too think that to be a wise decision only! As most of us know buying a land in chennai (for that matter any where in the world) isn't an easy affair.

I was just wondering what all one needs to look at before deciding to purchase a land. I thought I would put down what ever I know about this subject here.

[Guys pls free to correct me if I my understanding is wrong somewhere. That way, it would help me understand as well as others who might read this in future].

Here we go ...

1. One should not buy farm lands if they want to build a residential house sometime later there. Because to my knowledge its illegal to build residential houses on lands meant for irrigation.

2. Encumberance Certificate -- This is what is shortly refered as "EC". One needs to get an EC from local sub registrar office (i guess we need pay a small amount for this). From this we / our lawyers :) can find out whether the guy who is planning sell the land to us is the "complete" owner of that land. If at all he is not the single owner of the property then he should have proper "Power of Attorney" granted by other co-owners.

3. One should verify the patta. This document would have details about property (length, width etc.,) and the survey number of the property.

4. Before buying a land check whether it has CMDA approval? (I am not sure what sort of approval one would get if they buy it outside chennai limits? May be Panchayat!?!)
Fyi, CMDA - Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority

5. Always better to involve a good / genuine lawyer in these process. Lawyers normally verify the EC, patta and cross check whether the copy of documents he have matches with that of the original document OR has it been tampered by somebody :). If the lawyer is satisfied we can be rest assured that we have choosen a good land only!

6. Now-a-days i think there are banks which lends loan for purchasing lands too. For ex: State Bank Of India, HDFC and Sundaram Finance. If possible its better to purchase via a bank loan; that way, bankers would be doing the background check and based on that only approve it.

7. You might want to do a soil test OR get an expert advice from some good civil engineer. Who know some 5 or 10 yrs back that land could have been a small pond :) So you might want to check before buying on whether this is suitable for constructing a house or not.

ppl i am done with my points. Now I am looking forward for your comments to know whether I have missed out something.

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Terminal Services Session Recording

TSFactory will be launching a new application that allows you to record every single individual session on your terminal servers or simply servers with remote desktop enabled (so you can record all that is done to Exchange, AD, SQL etc.) for later playback or archiving (for audit purposes for example). The size of the file really depends on what the user is doing. They expect the average session to use 2MB per hour.

For version 1.0 this is what they have:

• Session recording with all metadata saved so you can search by username, originating workstation, server, date/time.

• Session recording based on username or time of the day (so you can schedule a recording to happen during certain times or only for certain users).

• Small footprint service with minimal overhead.

• Small player provided.

For V2, to follow they will have:

• Session recording for certain applications only (so you can record let's say your financial apps only).

• Nice fancy web interface for session retrieval and playback.

• Maybe SQL support to dump all sessions there.

• MOM integration? We are thinking about this. So you could see on the MOM console the sessions recorded for the servers you are monitoring.

If you want to give it a try, download it here.

Source: ThinComputing

Monday, June 26, 2006

Do you want PUBS and NorthWind Database for SQL Express edition ...

I am working on SQL Server 2005 for quite sometime - PUBS and NORTHWIND database doesn't come along with it by default. But most of my samples which i already have are based on either one of these database. So instead of recreating the sample just for testing purpose I went in search of an answer for "How to create Pubs and Northwind DBs in SQL 2005?".

Here is my findings. We can do it without much trouble. Just go here and download the .msi file and install it.

Instruction for installing:

The SQL Server 2000 sample database scripts are available as an installation file, SQL2000SampleDb.msi. After downloading, extract the sample database scripts by double-clicking on the .msi file. That would extract the database scripts and a readme file into the default folder - "C:\SQL Server 2000 Sample Databases"

Hope this helps!

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Powershell & LINQ ...

Out of the new stuffs which Microsoft is working on, my favorites are PowerShell and LINQ. Both are really interesting in its own ways.

PowerShell -- This was previously called as "Monad". Its a new command-line shell and task-based scripting technology that provides comprehensive control and automation of system administration tasks.

I guess this is the answer from Microsoft for Unix / Linux. That is, PS is as powerful (if not more) as Bash controls in Unix.

As of now, Windows command line tool is cmd.exe (command prompt based on DOS) but from what I have understood going forward in the next version of Windows it would be replaced with PowerShell. The bottomline is, Powershell would become the command line tool for the next generation of Windows.

You need to have .NET Framework 2.0 in your box if you want to get your hands dirty with this.

Interested in knowing more about this? Check out www.microsoft.com/powershell

Find below a sample script which I tried out with PowerShell:

get-childitem -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall foreach-object {If ($_.GetValue("DisplayName")-eq $null) {write-output $_.MshChildName } else {write-output $_.GetValue("DisplayName")}}

This script lists the installed products on a machine by reading the registry.

An IDE by name "PowerShellIDE has been already developed for this by script internals.

Useful links:

1. http://computerperformance.co.uk/powershell/index.htm
2. http://scripts.readify.net/Scripts.aspx

LINQ (Language Integrated Query)

Till date if we want to manipulate relational data stored in a database (for ex: SQL Server 2000) one need to master TSQL. Similarly if the data has been stored as a flat files in the form of XML files then one need to understand the nuances of xpath, xquery etc., Though we are basically trying to manipulate DATA stored in different datasources why should we learn two different languages?

Sometime back, the same question has been raised internally in Microsoft and the answer is LINQ :) Using LINQ, one can write queries in C# or Visual Basic without having to use other languages, such as SQL or XQuery etc.,

This is really cool and the way to go. Anyway this is going to be released along with Windows Vista. I guess it would take atleast another 6 months to 1 year for this to be released.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Bug in Notepad …

One of my colleagues day before yesterday sent me a message saying try typing “Bush hid the facts” in notepad, save it, close it and reopen it. I tried the same and initially I was surprised to know that it was displaying only few boxes!!

Step 1: Start >> Run >> notepad
Step 2: Just type the text in quotes alone – “Bush hid the facts”
Step 3: Save the file [I saved it as a.txt] and close it
Step 4: Open that saved file.

I didn’t think this to be a Easter egg as I was sure that Microsoft wouldn’t unnecessarily take on US government like this. So I thought of testing it out.

As a first attempt I replaced all characters within that file with “a”. That is, my file would read “aaaa aaa aaa aaaaa” now saved it as “b.txt”, closed it and reopened it. As I have expected it showed up only boxes. So I immediately concluded that notepad isn’t good at opening files which has only a single sentence of 4 words with its size as 4-3-3-5.

I responded back to my friend with my findings!! But I need to admit that this isn’t consistent at all. In some cases it works, for some words/characters it doesn’t work.

The thing which confused me more was I was able to open the saved notepad file (with the above mentioned characters of 4-3-3-5 spacing) without any hassle from command prompt.

Step 1: Start >> Run >> cmd
Step 2: edit a.txt

Only then I was thinking in the lines of “May be this could be something to do with text encoding”. So I started to look out for the answer with the help of my friend Google. Though there were many sites which talks about it, to my knowledge the most appropriate ones are these two links.

  1. http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2004/03/24/
    95235.aspx
    --- Majorly I didn’t understand much from this post as it was above my head. But one point which I understood is, its the problem with IsTextUnicode() function which Notepad uses to find out whether the text is a Unicode or not.

If you go through those two links you would understand that people have discussed about this issue in the year 2004 itself :(

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

About Ray Ozzie (Chief Software Architech of Microsoft)

You might want to check this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Ozzie

Extract from that site:

Ray Ozzie (born November 20, 1955) is Chief Software Architect at Microsoft. He was formerly best known for his role in creating Lotus Notes.

He grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois, graduating from Maine South High School in 1973. In high school, he learned to program on a GE-400 mainframe and did technical work on school theater productions.

He received his bachelor's degree in computer science in 1979 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he worked on the PLATO system, and began his working career at Data General Corporation where he worked for Jonathan Sachs. After leaving Data General, Ozzie worked at Software Arts, the creators of VisiCalc, on that product and TK Solver. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited by Sachs and Mitch Kapor to work for Lotus Development to develop what became Lotus Symphony. Ozzie left Lotus Development in 1984 and founded Iris Associates to create the product later sold by Lotus as Lotus Notes. Iris Associates was acquired by Lotus in 1994, and Lotus itself was acquired by IBM in 1995. Ozzie worked there for several years before leaving to form Groove Networks. Groove was aquired by Microsoft in 2005, where Ozzie became one of three Chief Technical Officers.

On June 15, 2006, Ozzie took over the role of Chief Software Architect from Bill Gates.

You might also want to check whats written about him in Microsoft.com and the interview he gave to Gartner.

His blogspaces are: http://rayozzie.spaces.msn.com/Blog/PersonalSpace.aspx and http://spaces.msn.com/editorial/rayozzie/old/blog/index.html

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Follow your instincts and surge ahead

This is non-techie post. One of my friend sent me this link which I found to be useful. Thought would share it with you guys as well.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

.docx is the extention for Word 2007

Though I have been using beta 2 of Microsoft Office 2007 for couple of weeks now. Only last night i noticed that it has a new extension now :)

The new extension for MS Word 2007 is ".docx". For those who weren't aware, previously Microsoft Word document used to have ".doc" as its extension.

Little bit of googling helped me to find this Microsoft link where-in they have explained ".docx" as Office Open XML format.

The whole interface of Word has changed and it looks really cool. As of now I have just looked into the way of making blog posts using it :) It's really simple.

Step 1: We need to register our blog account with MS Word by choosing "Provider". In my case, it is Blogger.

Step 2: Provide the "Username" and "Password" which we used to login into our provider.

Step 3: Now we are ready to create the blog post. The document would have two parts. If you click on the header of the word document. It would read as "Post title". [Note: If you have opened a normal document it would read as Header only. Only if we open a new blog document it would as Post title.]. The rest of the lines below it would become your blog content.

Step 4. Once you are done, from the toolbar choose "Publish" or "Publish as Draft".

[Sometime this week, I would update this post with more details / screenshots of how to do this.]

One bug which I have found as of now is:

It throws an error if I try to publish a post whose content is more than a page long. More over the error message is not intuitive. The error message thrown is something like, "internet connection not available or incorrect password" :)
[Sometime this week, I would update this post with screenshot of the error message.]

Converter:

http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/beta/converter.mspx --- After installing this with our Office XP or Office 2003 we could open files created in Microsoft Office 2007. I am sure this would be useful.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Interview with Product Manager of Zoho Sheet

As you all aware, Google has released the beta version of “Google Spreadsheet” few days back. Only then through Rajendran [My ex-CTO and a good friend of mine] I came to know about Zoho Sheet. As I have said before, to know that a Chennai based company has developed something AHEAD of GOOGLE is not a small achievement.

First of all, I really love the concept of sharing the spreadsheet with others. This might help people use this as a collaborative tool! But there are lots of doubts coming up in my mind when I think about "Spreadsheet over the web". So thought I would get it clarified from the people who have conceptualized, designed and developed it.

Here is the interview with Hyther Nizam who is the Director of Product management for Zoho Services at AdventNet, and Product Manager of Zoho Sheet and Zoho Creator.

Let’s get started …

[Vadivel]: To start with, can you explain what the need of Zoho Sheet is? It would be great if you could give me few real-time examples on where could we use this?

[Hyther]: Excel is one of my favorite software which is perfectly designed for its intended purpose and users. But it’s not friendly now for internet population who want to consume lot of data from internet into their spreadsheets. Sharing is pain. Not collaboration friendly. You cannot share it online with your friends, colleagues and clients. You might be sending it now as back and forth email attachments which has its own version problems. Not to say on the ridiculous pricing of M$ office package.

Zoho Sheet is an affordable online alternative to such traditional spreadsheets riding on the advantage of web. Zoho Sheet can be used by individuals for tracking personal data or enterprises maintaining their business data.

[Vadivel]: I know Zoho is now in its beta. When do you think the final product be made public? Is there any specific time frame you have in mind?

[Hyther]: Currently we are busy working on the features to make Zoho Sheet usable for serious users. We would remove the beta tag once we feel we are ready for enterprise users, probably by next 3 months or so.

[Vadivel]: I didn't find any help file for this product. Am I missing something? (Is there a help file for this product?)

[Hyther]: Currently we are busy churning out code to bring out features quickly. That doesn't mean help file is not important, we would add it for public release

[Vadivel]: Let’s assume that I save my business content using Zoho sheet, where would my content get stored? In database or flat file?

[Hyther]: Both. We have designed the system for best performance. We leverage file system where we need fast I/O and database for maintaining relational constraints.


[Vadivel]: Is the content encrypted?

[Hyther]: As of now, no. This is one of the important features which we will add before we get out of beta. However, currently, we have secured file system for user’s data with support for disaster recovery.

[Vadivel]: Bottom-line is, how safe would my content be? For ex: Once Zoho sheet becomes live and if some serious business user makes use of this. Can the system admin of Zoho be in a position to view their content?

[Hyther]: User data would be encrypted and stored based on the user's credentials, making it absolutely impossible even for Zoho administrator to view the content.

[Vadivel]: If at all I could ask, what technology have you used to develop this Zoho sheet?
[Hyther]: Java, AJAX

[Vadivel]: Is there any specific reason for choosing this technology?

[Hyther]: AJAX brings cooler user experience on the web, they call it web 2.0. Java enables fast development with lot of libraries around it

[Vadivel]: I know AdventNet is a product based company. That said, from zoho.com I understand that you give away "Zoho Writer", "Zoho Planner" and "Zoho Chat" all for free!! In that line, can people expect Zoho Sheet also be given free of cost? If yes, what is the business model of AdventNet?

[Hyther]: Even after beta, Zoho Sheet would remain to have free edition for personal users. We feel we could make money from enterprises with disruptive pricing making Zoho compelling for enterprises, and of course, with cool web services which can solve real problems.

[Vadivel]: When you thought about Zoho Sheet, where you guys aware that Google Spreadsheet is going to be released sometime soon?

[Hyther]: We expected it. Everyone knows Google is taking on M$ and would come up with online office package. With writely acquisition for word processing, natural next step would be spreadsheets.

[Vadivel]: Do you think Google spreadsheet would be a threat to you? If not, in what way you think zoho sheet is a unique product by itself.

[Hyther]: Google is not threat to us. In one of my blog post, I have explained our stand with respect to Google spreadsheets. We would focus more on enterprise market and small groups of business users. This is going to be a marathon and we are well prepared for it.

[Vadivel]: Where do you think Zoho Sheet or for that matter Zoho go from here in next 5 years from now?

[Hyther]: Five years is too long time in this web 2.0 world. Our end-of-this-year goal is to bring out compelling online office suite - Zoho Writer (online word processor), Zoho Sheet (online spreadsheets), Zoho Virtual Office (web-based collaboration groupware) , Zoho Show (online presentation creator and remote sharing, coming soon!)

[Vadivel]: Why do you think people would make their sheet public? I couldn't think of a single reason for people making their content public!

[Hyther]: Yes, they would not share personal or business spreadsheets to public. But they could create common spreadsheets like FIFA World Cup, Tax Calculator, etc and contribute to public. (Social spreadsheets).

[Vadivel]: As I said before, I know Zoho Sheet is still in its beta stage. That said, I played with it for 30 mins yesterday and found few bugs. They are:

i) Wrap Text: In a cell which has the default cell width, I typed "alpha beta gamma". Then I clicked on Wrap Text with a hope that it would wrap this sentence to the size of the cell. But to my surprise the row was hidden. Am I missing something? I am not too sure whether this is the way it was designed to work? To me this is a bug as the button reads "Wrap Text" and not "Hide text".

[Hyther]: I tried out; it works on latest versions of Mozilla, Firefox. However seems to be an issue in IE. We will fix it.

ii) Font Color: I selected the cell where I have entered a formula. FYI, the actual formula which I tried is =(2*2)/4. The formula was correctly calculated and the result was displayed without any issues. Then i clicked on Font Color (A) from the tool bar and choosed Blue color. Though the color of the cell changed to blue now it started displaying the formula as it is with blue color. But the expected result is "the cell should have the result of the forumla in blue color"

When I tried the same thing after sometime it worked properly. Though the error isn't reproducable I am sure there is an issue with this :) So its better the dev team start looking into this also.

[Hyther]: Your observation is right, currently it behaves this way. Seems to be minor issue, we will correct it.

iii) Preview: When i clicked on preview button, its throwing the following error.

Error occured
Unable to Export the Document
<>

[Hyther]: Preview is nothing but html export, that’s why the message says unable to export. I agree this is not an intuitive message. We need to look at that particular sheet and check why it was unable to export. Probably a bug.

[Vadivel]: How does it feel to get bug reports like this from end-user? :)
[Hyther]: We knew how painful it is for the end users. We are striving hard to fix such obvious issues. Now you know the reason for beta tag :-)

[Vadivel]: Thanks a lot Hyther for taking pain in answering my questions and clearing some basic doubts on Zoho sheet. Hope the readers would have also enjoy reading this!

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mail from Bill gates to all MS employees and Subsidiaries

Updated on June 20, 2006:

I have removed the Bill Gates mail after reading the comment posted by an anonymous well wisher :)

Though I was not too sure whether I have violated the copyright laws as I could see the contents being posted freely in few other sites as well. Still I don't have time now to do a research on whether its a violation or not.

So for the benefit of those who haven't read that ... here are few links where you could find the same content which I have blogged here previously.

1. Seattlepi.nwsource.com
2. Bink.nu

This can be another interesting read for you guys http://www.microsoft.com/billgates/speeches/2006/06-15transition.asp

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Tips for attracting more comments …

After a long silence I am blogging regularly for almost past 2 months now. Btw, I use “eXtreme Tracking” to track the traffic into my blog. When I check the summary of those results I am really happy to know that in the past 231 days I have got 6711 unique visitors. Out of which last month I have attracted 1362 unique visitors and this month (as of today 7 PM) there are 1733 unique visitors. I think this to be a good count. I want to reiterate that out of 231 days I have seriously blogged for couple of months only.

Ok with that information, I want to talk about the problem in hand. Only recently I started thinking “dude, you are getting decent amount of readers on a daily basis. But then you aren’t getting much feedback from them. What’s the problem?”

Just because I am not getting decent amount of feedbacks does it mean my blog isn’t informative? I really don’t know but I know that, normally people are reluctant to post their views as comments on site for various reasons.

In my view, some of the reasons why people aren’t commenting on my blog (as much as I would expect) are as follows:

  1. Readers might be afraid of posting their views as they are paranoid of being teased by others (if at all their feedback is totally wrong!!).
  2. Most of my blogs are technical (!!) and so some of them aren’t interested in commenting on it [I take it positively that those guys learn something from my site]
  3. My blog posts are majorly techie and so only a circle of people might be interested in reading. If at all I start writing on topics which are of major interest to the general readers (for ex: talk about Rajinikanth’s new movie Sivaji , talk about Tamil Nadu elections 2006, talk about the social services which I do etc.,) might be then they would open up.
  4. There might be people who accidently get into my blog via Google or any other search engine.
  5. I don’t have any real “groups / fans” who read my blog regularly. [There is a high possibility that people comment based on face value].
  6. I might be talking on a subject which people already know.

Anyway lemme hope that people would comment at least for this post.

Glad to share this with you …

Now, I want to share with you all an incident which happened approximately 6 months back. There is a friend of mine by name “Jayaprakash” (JP) who was my MCA classmate. He works for Sella Synergy. I lost contact with him some 3 to 4 years back. All of a sudden, I got a mail from him asking me to call his mobile once I saw his mail. It was a pleasant surprise and I immediately called him up. After chit-chatting for few minutes he insisted me to come to his office right away. Though I said, I was bit busy!! He was too particular on me dropping into his office that evening itself.

I went to his office (which happens to be just few buildings away from my office!) around 5 or 6 PM in the evening. He introduced me to his team mates (I guess approx 4 o 5 guys) and said “They are all your fans”. Phew I was really taken back.

Till that time, I was thinking who is going to read my blog I wasn’t able to speak much with those chaps so just did a formal handshake and chatted for few minutes. Later JP told me that, one of his team mates was reading my blog (which has my snap on the right side). When JP saw my photo he has enquired about what they are doing blah blah. Those chaps have told him that we used to read Vadivel’s blog regularly etc.,

I came back to my office and told my friends that “I am really happy today because I came to know that I was helpful / useful for few chaps atleast”

Why did I write about this now? Just to console myself saying, even those chaps didn’t comment on any of my posts but didn’t they say it was useful LOL.

On the similar lines, I am happy to know that I was instrumental in making Santhi and Varalakshmi enter into the world of blogging. Having your blog listed in others Blogroll is a very nice feeling. Though I have got into very few blogrolls I am very happy and thankful to them. To my knowledge, Logu, Sriram, Thothari, Santhi, Prathiba, Varalakhsmi, Deepak, Vignesh have all blogrolled me. Let me work hard to get into few more blogrolls :) Apart from blogrolls my posts have been referred by various people in their blogs at various time [I am not going to list it .. bcoz i don't have a complete list myself :) ]

Ok let me stop whining. If at all you are also having similar issue then you might want to check “10 tips for attracting more comments”.

[This is my 2nd post made via beta 2 version of Microsoft Word 2007]

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

TechEd 2006 – Day 2

I attended the Architect track for few sessions in yesterday’s Day 2 of Microsoft TechEd. Man it was really boring. Mainly there was a session on SAS and till the end I didn’t understand the agenda of that session. Those guys were really confusing and weren’t able to handle questions properly.

The session by Gaurav Khanna on CLR Hosting 2.0 was informative. As always Gaurav speaks very fast and at time we weren’t able to follow him closely. This comment I heard from many others who attended that session too.

The highlight of the day was Nauzad’s session on BizTalk Server 2006. He almost took the session like “BizTalk for dummies” and it was really useful.

In this TechEd I really missed Praveen Srivatsa on the DATA (SQL) track. Praveen is one such guy who gives lots of tips on SQL Server and mostly we wouldn’t have heard about them previously

[This is my first post made via beta 2 version of Microsoft Word Office 2007]

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Interview worksheets from Microsoft

The Interview Worksheets provide a structured approach for asking questions and assessing candidate competencies during an interview.

Check this link which contains more than 20 worksheets catering to various aspects of interview process.

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Bill Gates to step down!

update REDMOND, Wash.--Bill Gates, the man who started Microsoft and has been its public face throughout its three decades of existence, plans to step away from daily work at the company.

Gates announced on Thursday that he will gradually relinquish his current role, ceding the title of chief software architect immediately, while remaining a full-time employee for the next two years. In July 2008, he will remain as a part-time employee and chairman.

The announcement comes as his company battles pressures on all fronts: a sagging stock price, competition from Google and nagging delays in the Vista operating system.

Read the full story here OR from Microsoft site directly :)

Btw this is the guy (Ray Ozzie) who is going to replace Bill Gates (partly):


Related Post : http://vadivel.blogspot.com/2006/06/robert-scoble-is-leaving-microsoft-to.html

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

TechEd 2006 has started here in Chennai ...

Microsoft TechEd 2006 have started here in Chennai, India. Today, I attended couple of sessions in Architect track and couple of sessions on Data (SQL) track.

The Architect sessions which I attended were cool and the best session for me today is "CLR integration with SQL Server 2005". I guess the organizers didn't expect much crowd for this session. You know what? the room was jam packed and there were atleast 50 to 60 guys watching the session by standing in the corner of the room. I was one among them :) This session was conducted by Nauzad (MVP) and the way he drived the session was really interesting.

The take away gift for the day (hope they would give me something tomorrow also :) ) was a beautiful looking Umbrella. Its really cool.

Today's Disappointment

I was disappointed when I couldn't find Abhishek (MVP Lead) today. Its quite sometime since I met him in-person, thought would catch up with him today :(

Also this is the first time Anand (Manager of CNUG) was also missing in a TechEd event. If my memory is right, he used to be around either taking sessions or answering questions in the expert zone in the past.

Why would one be interested in .NET Framework 3.0 now?

I was wondering why on earth a person should attend sessions on technologies or tools which are targetted for .NET Framework 3.0!! (Though I attended couple of sessions myself :) )

To my knowledge, those technologies are still in very early stages of beta and they are surely bound to change. More over just ~6 months back products relating to .NET Framework 2.0 have been released and shouldn't people concentrate and understand products released for this framework?

Don't you think we should learn something which we could try out in our projects now (for the money we have spent for TechEd). Rather than spending time on future products which you can't try out anywhere in your projects now. I am not saying we should not know about the future or road ahead of Microsoft. Those are good to know but not the need of the day! Moreover, those things we might need to understand / research ourself with the help of search engines, Microsoft.com etc., I am sure Abhishek is going to kill me for talking like this :)

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Google's not-so-very-secret weapon

Check the full story here

Did you check Microsoft Soccer Scorecard?


Follow your favorite teams and players during the FIFA World Cup tournament with Microsoft Soccer Scoreboard. This program allows you to access all the latest tournament news and information with just a click of a button!

Brazil is my favorite team. I have attached the screenshot taken from my laptop (of this tool) displaying Brazil's first match result. Hope this time they would win the world cup :)

More than that I am eagerly waiting for Ronaldo to break Gred Mullers record of 14 World Cup goals by an individual. If my memory is right, I guess he just needs 3 more goals not too far :)

By the way, whats your favorite team? what do you think about Brazil's chance of winning 2006 world cup?

You can download Microsoft Soccer Scorecard here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Narayana Murthy to Quit Infosys on August 30 ...

N R Narayana Murthy, one of India Incorporated's much-celebrated icons, and chairman and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, the country's second-biggest software services exporter, will step down from his position on August 30 this year.

Citing company rules as the reason, Murthy said that at the age of 60, people relinquish their executive positions. He said that he would be thrilled and privileged if the Board in its meeting on July 10 and July 11, decided to ask him to continue as non-executive chairman, while the role of chief mentor goes to a smarter person.

The Infosys Board will announce the name of the successor to Murthy on July 11, 2006.

Nandan Nilekani, chief executive officer, Infosys, said that they would be happy to have Murthy continue as chairman, as they value his direction and guidance.

Talking about his retirement, Murthy said that as he is on the advisory boards of many universities in the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific, a large part of his time is spent outside the country, and that this would definitely keep him busy. Although Murthy plans to open office at his house, he says he might just visit Infosys once-in-a-month or so.

Offering an insight into his vision for Infosys in the next 25 years, Murthy said it is not enough just to achieve targets, operational goals, innovation, and financial performance. He said he would like Infosys to be a place where people of different genders, nationalities, races, and religious beliefs work together in an environment of intense competition but utmost harmony, courtesy, and dignity, to add more and more value to customers day-after-day. Murthy added that he would like more women leaders to shape the future of Infosys.

Source: TechTree

Atlast I was able to install SQL Server 2005 Express

Atlast after struggling for couple of hours I was able to install SQL Server 2005 express edition onto my laptop.

For those who weren't aware, I have bought a new DELL Inspiron E1505 with Windows XP Media Center as its OS. That said, I wasn't able to install SQL Server 2k (even developer edition) on to this OS. So I decided to go with SQL 2005 express edition and downloaded it from Microsoft site few weeks back.

After that when I tried to install the software it started throwing all sorts of errors. Bit of googling helped me to find out the SQL Server Readme documentation. This surely helped me a lot and saved my day :)

Related post : http://vadivel.blogspot.com/2006/05/sql-server-2000-not-compatible-with.html

Monday, June 12, 2006

What a coincidence!

Whenever Sai lakshmi (my wife) returns home after staying for few days in my in-laws place it would rain (atleast drizzle) here in Ramavaram. Now its 10:15 PM here in Chennai and its raining. Yes today morning only she came back to our house from my in-laws place :)

I know its mere coincidence but I am really surprised this is happening for more than 2 years now :)

Have any such coincidence happened in your life?

Could Your VoIP Phone Be Wiretapped?

Court upholds ruling requiring Internet phone providers to offer wiretapping capabilities to law enforcement agencies.

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Federal Communications Commission ruling requiring VoIP providers to give law enforcement agencies wiretapping capabilities is legal, a court ruled today.

"This ruling threatens both civil liberties and technology innovation," CDT Policy Director Jim Dempsey said in an e-mail. "This decision threatens the privacy rights of innocent Americans as well as the ability of technology companies to innovate freely."

What do you think about this?

Advanced techniques to find and avoid deadlocks in .NET

I came to know about this post from my friend http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/06/04/Deadlocks/default.aspx. I haven't read this article fully ... anyway thought would put it here for the benefit of others!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Logging information into Windows Event Viewer

Have you ever wondered whether you could log information into Windows Event Log? If yes, read on :)

As you know, there are several methods to log information about your applications. If at all you want to create a specialized logging mechanism, consider using xp_logevent.

xp_logevent is a SQL Server extended stored procedure that is used to log customized events to the Windows NT system log. This information can then be examined through the NT Event Viewer.

Usage:

xp_logevent error_number, error_message, [severity]

here,

error_number -- can be any number greater than 50,000 and less than or equal to 1073741823

error_message -- can be any user defined message with 255 characters at the maximum. If the error message is > 255 characters it won't throw an error, instead only the first 255 characters would be displayed in the Event Viewer.

Severity -- can hold, one of the following 3 values: ERROR, WARNING & INFORMATION. Please note that severity is an optional value and the default value for it is INFORMATION

Code Snippet:

Below is a sample logging procedure that sends a dummy / test error message to Windows Event Viewer.

Create Procedure LogToEventViewer
As

Declare @Message varchar(1000)
Select @Message = 'Sample message: From SQL Server'

Exec master..xp_logevent 50101, @Message, WARNING

FYI, I have tried xp_logevent in SQL 6.5 and above.

Tip:

You might also want to check http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;290085

Verification:

After executing the above stored procedure open the Event Viewer. In the Windows 2000 systems it would be here, Start >> Settings >> Control Panel >> Administrative Tools >> Event Viewer. Inside Event Viewer we could see the warning message which were created using our stored procedure inside "Application Log" tab.

Scoble mentioned my name in his blogpost :)

I am glad to know that my name got mentioned by Scoble in one of his yesterday's blogpost. http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/06/06/google-announces-more-sleepless-nights-ahead-for-msft-product-managers/
Dream come true :) Thanks Scoble .. you really donno how much this matters to me.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Google Lab introduces spreadsheet software

This is real interesting move from Google. It is taking on Microsoft on its home ground :) Sometime today, Google would be opening out its new Spreadsheet software for limited number of users. They call it as "limited test".

What does "limited test" mean?

Some Google Labs prototypes can handle only a limited number of users in their initial stages. When we know that's the case, we do our best to let you know too, by putting "limited test" next to its name, along with some screenshots and/or more information about the product for those of you who weren't able to get there in time to actually try it out.

This FAQ might interest you:

1. What are the key features of Google Spreadsheets?
2. How do I sign up for Google Spreadsheets?
3. What browsers does Google Spreadsheets support?

Do you want to have a sneek preview check this out :: TOUR
If at all you are interested in testing out the beta software signup and wait for their mail (like what I am doing now :) ).

The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time

This list is really interesting. Check the complete article here pcworld.com.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

SQL Server Interview Questions ...

I was cleaning my room the other day. Only then i found my old diary which I have used in my earlier days to prepare for interviews.

I found few links which I have made note of relating to SQL Server interview Q&A. I thought of logging it here for the benefit of others (who weren't aware about this).

1. http://vyaskn.tripod.com/iq.htm
2. http://www.techinterviews.com/?p=161
3. http://www.dotnetspider.com/kb/Article1659.aspx (this I found it recently only)
4. http://vadivel.blogspot.com/2005/11/list-of-my-sql-articles-tips.html :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Need of blogging!

What is a (We)blog?

Normally blogs are defined as "Online diary". But I see it as "the place to log our ideas for future reference".

Are blogs useful?

Let me try and explain it with an example! I have come across many ppls who used to copy the projects which they work in their company for future reference !! They do things like,

1. Uploading it to yahoo briefcase,
2. Zip it and send themself a mail,
3. Burn it into a CD etc.,

But practically they wouldn't be in need of the whole project as such. They might be interested in a piece of code which could be reused in some of their future projects. Please be adviced that its not right to copy the projects or IP (intellectual property) from your previous company. I feel it to be unethical. I know, perceptions vary :).

When ever you learn something new (or) come across any new topic which you feel would be of use in future then I suggest you to blog about it. Down the line in a year or so if you look back there would be decent collection of information which would be useful for you in future as well as for others.

Not only your old projects, what ever you feel would be useful can be logged here in this electronic media rather than just adding it to your browsers favorites or scribbling it in a notepad. As this would be long lasting.

Other way to look at it is, almost always we learn most of the stuff from internet. Shouldn't it be nice if we start giving back / contributing to it?

Don't get me wrong. I am not talking only for technical bloggers. If at all you are a non-techie guy, lets say a sales person. Then you might want to see this "Top 10 reasons you need as sales blog". So what ever trade you are in, there might be some good / valid reason for having a blog.

How do you find time to do this? Are you always free?

This is one of the question many people ask me. Those people have an opinion that people who blog are totally free and jobless :) It's not true.

I normally dedicate 1 to 2 hours in a day (time of the day varies, normally its @ night times) to blog as well as read others blog. It all boils down to how well we manage our time.

Mind you, starting a blog is pretty easy but maintaining it is tough. We need to keep reading and update ourself with the latest happenings in our field.

Reading others blog? How do you keep track of whose blog to read etc.,

There are quite a few tools availabe on the web which would help one in managing this. For example, there is a site called Bloglines (there are numerous RSS / ATOM feed readers like this in the web. Google too also has one by name Google Reader.) where we could register (for free) and just add the path of all the feeds of those blogs which you feel like reading. [If at all you wanna add me to your list .. this is my ATOM feed http://vadivel.blogspot.com/atom.xml]

This way, you just need to login into one single site where you could read all posts from all the blogs of your choice. Easy isn't it.

How do you know what and what not to blog?

These are few basic steps which I take care while blogging. Just see whether this would be of use to you.

a. I would suggest you stay away from blogging about your company or the project you do at present. I have read enough about those who have lost their jobs just because of blogging or cribbing about their company.

Though there are companies like Microsoft which allows their workers to blog / crib about their company freely. One good example is Scoble's blogspace. When you are not sure about the blogging policy of your company then its always better to stay away from blogging about it. Hope scoble would also vouchee for it :)

b. Be yourself. Don' start blogging something for the sake of others. People are there to know what you personally feel about a situation or an issue.

c. Create a trend for yourself or in other words try and be unique. I know its pretty tough. Still no harm in giving it a try.

How to handle readers comments?

Go through all the comments and give importance to only those which seems to be constructive criticism. Ignore all those destructive criticism as it is not going to help you in anyway.

How to make people comment on your blog post?

You might want to check my another post on this here >> http://vadivel.blogspot.com/2006/06/tips-for-attracting-more-comments.html

Related Posts:

Joe Antony of VoiceOfScape group pointed me to this article. Thought would add that article here for the sake of completion.

Happy blogging!

[P.s:
1. I somewhat feel his post isn't complete yet. So I might update this post when ever I feel so :)

2. If you feel I have missed out anything or you want me to correct something do post it as a comment or mail me @ vmvadivel@gmail.com
]

Friday, June 02, 2006

Article on Exception handling in .NET applications

I read a nice article on Exception handling in .NET applications. Here is the link for those who are interested in reading it.

Web Site Testing Checklist

Here is a cool handbook on what needs to be checked on a web site. It has been prepared by Liz Clogher. If at all you are working on web applications then you need to check this out without fail.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Finding the product of a column ...

There isn't a prebuild function for finding the product of a field in SQL Server. But there is a workaround which we could make use of by using the combination of SUM(), POWER() and LOG10() functions. If not for this query we would have to fetch all the records to the front-end and then do the calcuation there or use cursors to parse the records and write the logic for multiplying within that procedure. I have tested it very long time ago with both SQL Server 7.0 and 2000.

Steps to be followed for finding the product of a column are given below:

1. Find the LOG value of all the data
2. Add all the LOG values
3. With the help of POWER function return the SUM to the POWER 10
4. Add one to the final result.

That's it. You would have all the column values being multiplied and returned as an output. Let us try and implement it with an example.

Creating and populating a sample table

a. Create a test table

Create table TblTransaction
(
[CustomerName] varchar(20),
[Price] int,
[tax] int
)

b. Populate some test data into the above table

Insert into TblTransaction Values ('Vadivel', 10, 2)
Insert into TblTransaction Values ('Sneha', 25, 2)

Solution

The code snippet for finding the product of the field "price" is given below:

Select Power(10, Sum(Log10(price))) + 1 from TblTransaction

The code snippet for finding the product of two column (price * Tax ) is given below:

-- Declaring variables to hold the intermediate results
Declare @logTax float
Declare @logPrice float
Declare @sumLog float

Select @logTax = log10(tax), @logPrice = log10(price) from TblTransaction
Select @sumLog = @logTax + @logPrice
Select power(10, @sumLog) + 1

The above code sninppet or logic would work only for non-zero positive integer values and won't work for columns which has decimal values. For instance, if in our test table if the value of price is 10.5 and 25.5 the result would still show 249 and not the actual 267.75

Hope this helps!

Padding leading zeros

Find below 3 different ways of adding "Leading" zeros to a given number.

Table Structure

Create table PaddingNumbers
(
Fname varchar(100),
Amount int
)
Go

Populate dummy records

Insert into PaddingNumbers Values ('Vadivel',100)
Insert into PaddingNumbers Values ('Vadi',300)
Go

Method 1:

Select Right('00000' + Convert(varchar, amount), 5) from PaddingNumbers

Method 2:

Select Replace(Str(amount, 5), ' ', '0') from PaddingNumbers

Method 3:

Select Right(Replicate(0, 5) + Convert(varchar(5), amount), 5) from PaddingNumbers